Amid the hubbub of Mexico’s famed Day of the Dead, when families celebrate and remember their dearly departed with graveyard vigils, parties and parades, Tai quietly slipped away. Drained and depleted by cancerous tumours he’d been battling for about a year, his strong, sturdy body finally broke down and gave out. We were by his side, along with Judy and Lee, and as heartbreaking as it was to watch him wither, he was one lucky boy who lived one long, lucky life, and he knew it.
Judy and Lee had rescued Tai some 10 years ago when they found him abandoned on the beach. Scars across his face and neck led them to suspect he’d been kept as a fighting dog. They took him in, tamed him, pampered him, and loved him like a child. He repaid them with love, loyalty and devotion. He was our first pet-sit, and his fierce façade was intimidating, a kind of trial by fire. But over the years that we cared for him, we grew to love this special dog and his quirky ways. Not one for play or affection, when he did snuggle or plant a wet one on our face, it was an honour. We’ll miss you, amigo, but we’ll also celebrate and remember you. Always.